The following post is by Kat Braybrooke, London-based Community Coordinator of the Open Knowledge Foundation (Regional Chapters and Groups) and a core organiser of OKFest.
On September 17-22 this year, global communities will be descending on the shores of Helsinki for a week-long celebration called the Open Knowledge Festival – and you’re the first to be invited!
For this festival – the first of its kind in the world – we are bringing Open Government Data Camp (OGDCamp) and Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) to the same place to provide new opportunities for collaboration. We’ll start the week by supporting practitioners working in the fields of open government and municipal data, and end it by exploring the diversity of open knowledge initiatives from a global perspective. The organising team, a talented gathering of Finns and leaders from around the world, are already hard at work planning a busy week of seminars, workshops, lectures, hackathons, keynotes, coding jams and interactive media sessions that will bring together participants from a wide variety of backgrounds in new ways.
Another important element of OKFest is its Nordic location. The host city of Helsinki is in the midst of an urban Finnish renaissance built on inclusive communities. It is home to one of our first incubating Local Chapters, and as the next World Design Capital for 2012, the city will also be hosting an inspiring cohort of open data practitioners who combine design, art, academia and technology to support innovation in new and interesting ways. Helsinki locals organised the city’s first Open Knowledge Meetup this October and have just opened the first FABlab in Finland at the Aalto University Media Factory. We look forward to highlighting even more Finnish projects in the field of open knowledge, and hope to see the participation of many representatives of Nordic nations.
Most importantly of all, we want your ideas to be highlighted at OKFest. We are currently looking for proposals regarding sessions, satellite events, research streams, hackathons, lecture topics and other forms of collaboration. Have a great project or idea that you want to share with the global community? This is the place to do it. Join our public discussion list and say hello here and start finding collaborators on Twitter using the hashtag #okfest.
We hope to see you in Helsinki, Finland this September for a week of new friends, open knowledge and global inspiration with a Nordic twist!
Photo from OGDCamp 2011 thanks to Volker Agüeras Gäng on Flickr.